WestConn Senate Votes Against Cutting Social Sciences Majors — But The Programs Aren’t Saved Yet

WestConn Senate Votes Against Cutting Social Sciences Majors — But The Programs Aren't Saved Yet

Danbury, Western Connecticut State University's Senate overwhelmingly rejected the university's current president's proposal to eliminate four social science graduate programs, but opponents worry the plan isn't dead.

Faculty and students protested plans by university officials to scrap major courses in economics, social sciences, meteorology, anthropology and sociology.

The Senate this week rejected all four major proposed cuts; in economics by 21 votes to 4; in anthropology and sociology – 20 votes "for" and 4 "against"; in social sciences – 19 votes "for" and 4 "against"; In Meteorology, the score was 21:2. Now President-elect Paul Beran must decide whether to follow the Senate's advice or advise the Board of Trustees to eliminate the seniors.

Monday's vote comes at the end of a 60-day period that allows interested parties to publicly testify and argue their position on keeping or eliminating large companies.

Public testimony ends Wednesday, but a university spokeswoman said Beran's decisions likely won't be made "for some time."

"During the joint governance process, there have been many discussions that have presented alternatives to the original proposal and we will continue to discuss them with the relevant parties," Beran said on Tuesday.

Rotua Lumbantobing, professor of economics and president of the WSCU chapter of the Association of American University Professors, is one of many professors who oppose the proposal to eliminate graduate programs.

He pointed out that the decision made by the members of the senate on Beran's last proposal is rejected and will be submitted to the Council of Regions for final approval.

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"This process was rigged from the beginning," Lumbantobing said after the vote, adding that she and other teachers don't expect Bera to change his mind.

Lumbantobing added: "He has received an order from the Governing Council, so we expect it to be implemented."

The state Board of Regents, the body responsible for overseeing Connecticut's public higher education system, hired Berra over the summer to replace John Clark, who was voted out of confidence by disaffected faculty members in June. Reserve funds have been 99 percent depleted, in addition to other "severe" financial problems identified in a report earlier this year.

The report from the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems calls, among other things, for the university to review its curriculum and programs. This includes assessing whether you can continue to supply all low-grade items.

Byrne, who has spent his career managing state universities such as Arkansas, Oklahoma and South Dakota, told the News-Times in August that he was hired by WCSU to handle financial issues and discuss a "black and white new" school. Budget. Off" ".red" to report.

A university spokeswoman said an analysis of enrollment and retention trends data showed a drop in enrollment and less interest in the social science courses it proposed to exclude, but courses in all disciplines were still declining. – Students and college students.

After the move, there will be no teacher cuts, and students currently enrolled in major programs will complete their studies and receive degrees.

According to the university, WCSU currently has 22 economics majors, 19 anthropology and sociology majors, 10 social science majors, approximately 42 political science majors and 34 meteorology majors. In the year In 2017, the university reported awarding 22 undergraduate degrees in anthropology/sociology, 21 undergraduate degrees in business administration, 47 undergraduate degrees in political science, 26 undergraduate degrees in social science, and 34 undergraduate degrees in meteorology.

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When Bera submits a proposal in its current form or revised form, the National Research Council Committee reviews it and the Regency Council decides whether to approve or reject the recommendations.

Lumbantobing admitted that she and other faculty members were not hopeful graduate programs would be supported, but said the rally was planned for the Feb. 3 board of trustees meeting.

"All public universities and community colleges are in short supply, which suggests that the state should either give us funding or give us more money, especially when it comes to declining enrollment," he said.

An evening of conversation with Dr. Yuval Levin et al. William Galston, by Dr. Daniel Barrett.

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